With the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) occupying a place of pride on the vast Indian Railways network, efforts are on to introduce additional service to meet the demand of tourists visiting Udhagamandalam every year.
To start with, a round trip between Ooty and Ketti would begin to give tourists the experience of train travel in the picturesque mountainside.
To increase the service, two additional steam locomotives and 15 coaches have been manufactured at the Golden Rock Workshop in Tiruchirappalli and Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
Once the additional rolling stock is received, round trips for those visiting Coonoor would also be introduced between Coonoor and Runnymede, a Southern Railway press release said.
The Southern Railway is presently scouting for different souvenir designs and suppliers for this purpose, the release said.
A theme-based coffee shop is also on the cards at Ooty station, where an old X class steam locomotive is on display, it added.
Southern Railway general manager R K Kulshrestha recently inspected NMR and has mooted various plans to promote a heritage museum at Udhagamandalam station.
The one at Mettupalayam at the foothills of Nilgiris in Coimbatore district has proved to be a big draw.
The Southern Railway is committed to development and preservation of NMR for posterity and constant efforts were being made to upgrade the infrastructure and technology on the mountain railway while maintaining the heritage of NMR, the release said.